Jamaica Red Ale
Mad River Brewing Company

Jamaica Red AleJamaica Red Ale
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Red Ale - American Amber / Red
Ranked #63
Ranked #22,686
3.85 | pDev: 12.21%
Mad River Brewing Company
California, United States
Very Good
Jamaica Red AleJamaica Red Ale
Notes: Our legendary red ale. This mahogany hued ale brings an intense spectrum of spicy aromatic hop character balanced by a full-bodied caramel richness. 2011 Silver Medal winner at the Great American Beer Festival in the American Style Amber/Red Ale category.

IBU: 45.3
Malts: 2-Row Pale, Crystal 70/80, Wheat, Black Patent
Hops: Columbus, Chinook, Cascade, Willamette, Summit
Reviews: 258 | Ratings: 515 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by dbalsock:
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dbalsock from Vermont

3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I think this may be my third favorite Red Ale of all time, and considering my favorite was a one-off, this is probably #2, depending on the day #1

Appearance: Poured Amber with an orange hue. The bartender gave me a perfect pint as far as I'm concerned with two fingers of whiteish head. What really made the appearance so fantastic, was the head retention; better than most any red ale I've seen.

Smell: This was pretty standard for a red ale, but the caramel malt and citrusy as well as fruity hops were pretty balanced, so it was a little better than average.

Taste: I'm impressed. There was a great balance between the malts and the hops, much like in the nose. It was a tad sweeter than most red ales on the market, which is how I like them and the taste was very present and straightforward. If I had to describe it in one word, I'd say Bold.

Mouthfeel: This was completely standard, imo. Nothing special here, but that's ok, the taste kinda makes up for it.

Drinkability: Like I said above, #2 or #1, so this is quite drinkable. In fact, I'm sure I will get it many times to come.

Aug 19, 2006
More User Reviews:
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SethB2 from California

4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours a non transparent, cloudy, redish brown color with little flakes of sediment floating throughout. The head is oatmeal in color and very thick. As I type this, it still has not disipated a few minutes after the pour.

S - West coast hops and roasted malts. There is a very noticeable coffee presense as well a bit of hard candy sweetness.

T - I likey. Interesting beer. Reminds me a bit of Arrogant Bastard, in that is has the profile of a brown, but VERY well hopped at the same time. Ripe fruits start this off, leading the way to a Cascade bite, and finishes off sweet yet again.

M - Full and creamy.

D - Good as well. Very nice beer.

Jul 29, 2006
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iL0VEbeer from New Jersey

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Mar 09, 2012
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JayQue from Virginia

3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good one!!! My first Mad River beer. Very tasty and sessionable. Pours a dark amber / bronze color with a nice size light tan head. Head retention is good. Leaves good lacing on the glass. Nice looking beer. Smell is nothing special.

Tastes good. Smooth, malty and not too sweet. A little hops bitterness to balance things out. Mouthfeel is rich and crisp. Very drinkable, don't have to be that cold to enjoy. The flavor holds up, no annoying chalkiness or sweetness.

At 6.0 abv and tasty, I see this as a session beer. A slow sipper with potential for mass quantities in an evening!!

Very enjoyable experience...I would like to try this on tap as well.

Feb 23, 2008
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Murrhey from Washington

3.52/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured on-tap at part of a flight at Haven Gastropub in Orange, Calif. Reviewed from notes.

A- Finger off-white head with a long retention. Red-brown color.

S- Nutty and mid-roasted barley smell.

T- Malty and tasty.

M- Smooth and pretty wet.

O- Easy drinking beer. Not blowing me away.

Nov 15, 2012
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bradybeer from California

3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light orange color-not what I would call red. Little to no head, hops or malt aroma. Taste is rough-and I find a little harsh-I can't tell if it is the hops of th malt but there is a harshness to it. Mouthfeel is OK and on the medium side. Drinkabiity is average for me because the harshness is too much for me and I don't think I could have more than one or to of these

Apr 12, 2007
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SATBMan from Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -22.1%

Dec 01, 2011
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BitterLover from North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This review is from notes. I had this beer on tap at Tyler's Taproom in Durham, NC. It was the featured beer on "Pint NIght", so I got to take the Jamaica Red logo pint glass home! Gotta love Pint Night at Tyler's!

A: Dark copper color with a reddish tinge to it when held up to the light. No head and no lacing, but a slight halo of bubbles around the edge. Some visible carbonation..

S: More malty than hoppy to my nose. A nice sweet earthy smell.

T: Very malty sweet up front, but hops come to the forefront as the beer goes down the back of the throat. This beer finishes with a hoppy bitterness.

M: The maltiness gives this beer a velvety mouthfeel that fades quickly into bitterness.

D: This is a very drinkable beer on tap -- not overly sweet, bitter, or high in alcohol. I'm sure I'll have this one again.

Jan 25, 2009
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shelby415 from Oregon

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Feb 26, 2012
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Enola from North Carolina

4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer suprised me. I was not expecting much but wow!! The color is like a glass of tea. There was a small head. The smell is hoppy and also cinnamon and spice. The taste is hoppy but not too bitter. Nothing over the top. The mouthfeel is very smooth. No harshness at all. I could certainly drink this beer again. A sessionable beer. This beer is like a blend of a red beer and an IPA. Reminds me of Hopback Amber.

Jun 12, 2006
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Vylo from New Jersey

3/5  rDev -22.1%

Jan 18, 2012
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albern from Massachusetts

3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a nice, substantial Red Ale. It pours a hazy deep amber brown color with a creamy off white head, retention is decent, no lacing. The nose is bready malts and leafy hops. There is a touch of caramel candy aromas in the nose too.

The taste is a tad syrupy, medium bodied or more, there is a very nice balance going on here. There are some very nice candied bready malts, some fruit flavors, perhaps a bit of booze soaked pineapple. The leafy hop is very present and tightens the beer up a bit so that it isn't so sweet. There are some caramels underneath, maybe a slightly burnt brown sugar sense to the beer as well. The charred flavors carry into the finish and aftertaste. The hop profile is also lingering into the aftertaste. There is some noticeable ABV in this beer as well.

Nov 15, 2009
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OleJohnnieAle from Minnesota

4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark amber could with nice creamy head that settles into a nice thin collar. Left thin lacing behind.

S: Some nice malts on the front side with a very mild hint carmel and floral hops.

T: A lot hoppier than I thought it would be, there is a sweetness from the carmel but moreso there is a piney hop flavor coming through. Nice bitterness that is not overpowering. NIce flavor and very well balanced.

M: Well carbonated with a medium bodied. slight bitterness from the hops that left a little resin feel.

O: Suprised by this one. I personally like the hops in this one. Will search this one out again.

Jan 27, 2012
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1fastz28 from Illinois

4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a very deep red amber color with a nice 2 finger head on it. smell is very good, has a great biscuity maltiness to it a slight chocolate hint to it. Taste is good too, has a nice malt taste to it and a slight malt kick to it, its a good balance overall. Mouthfeel is rich and full, not watery at all, drinkability is good, i'm parched so this one is going down fast. a good beer, recommended

Jul 07, 2009
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DeezGunz14 from California

3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Feb 10, 2012
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brheuer from New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Mar 24, 2013
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chasmandocharles from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Aug 03, 2012
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wagenvolks from Texas

3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a Foothills pint glass.

Jamaica Red pours well, filling the pint with a thick, raspberry iced-tea colored beer. The head is sizable, rising slowly out of the syrupy body and receding just as slowly, until a thin sheet of unsorted bubbles remains. Excellent lacing. The aroma is phenomenal for an Amber. Juicy, grapefruit hops and tropical fruits (banana, mango, pineapple) are balanced well with a blend of caramel and toffe malts.

The flavor is good...not exceptional, but complex and drinkable. Bitter, resinous, fruity hops coat the palate at first while a smaller, toffee malt note adds some balance. Mouthfeel is heavier than expected for a Red, as the body feels thick and sticky with a low carbonation level. Good hoppiness lingers around for the aftertaste. Overall, this was a pretty decent beer...I'm surprised I went so long before trying it, as it's distribution is fairly widespread in Raleigh.

Apr 16, 2008
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seanmugs from Colorado

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Nov 20, 2011
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Rochefort10nh from New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Nov 18, 2011
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wagner617 from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Dec 16, 2011
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JustinL from Alabama

3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From Beer of the Month club. Dark amber pour, thin off white head. Nice rich malty, hoppy nose. Cloudy, a was expecting a ho-hum red ale but got something with nice flavor. Unexpectedly hoppy, with a nice finish. All in all a good beer, would drink again.

May 31, 2008
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zapahoppa from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Feb 20, 2013
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Tyrawlings from Ohio

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Feb 11, 2012
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bostonryan from Massachusetts

2/5  rDev -48.1%

Dec 15, 2013
Jamaica Red Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 515 ratings